As we step into the new year, let's look at 5 common problems people face and what we can do about it:
Divorce is always stressful. In this article, we look at what are some of the unique stresses and challenges that expats face when they are going through a divorce.
All mums experience an intense emotional and physical transformation during pregnancy and the first year of a baby’s life, but for a significant proportion of us, this can lead on to full blown depression and anxiety and for a very small number, postnatal psychosis. The Baby Blues are a common expression for what happens to approximately 80% of all mums around the third to tenth day after birth. Because it is so common and temporary, we do not associate the Baby Blues as being a mental illness, but rather a natural state that is sure to pass once we settle into our new role as mothers. Symptoms include exhaustion, tearfulness, mood fluctuations, anxiety and irritability. Baby blues is thought to occur as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy, the labour, breast feeding and lack of sleep.
Tricia* just realized that her husband, Kent*, doesn't want children, and she does. Emotionally it's hard for her to accept. Doubt start creeping into her mind: should spell the end of the marriage? While they did not have clear plan about having children, but Kent had made some indication that gave her the impression that he wanted children too. Why have he changed his mind?
*Not their real name
Having looked at the goals of coparenting, let's look at how we can communicate so as to facilitate this process.
For those who had divorced, parenting will have its challenges. However, may be even more difficult is co-parenting your child with other involved adults in the child’s life (be it your ex, new partner, grandparents, etc). Relationship stress often occurs when one or both people can’t agree on who is responsible for fulfilling what needs the child may have. Conflicting co-parents are often unable to nurture the child successfully. Effective co-parenting is required to help your child develop to be holistically-healthy, balanced, socially productive, and reasonably content (happy).
To nurture well, the co-parents need to evolve from their conflicts to having clear goals, plans, priorities, “job description” (roles), and rules based on consensus. Although individual co-parents will have unique goals, most parents will strive for some general, basic long-term co-parenting outcomes.
“For better or worse, through sickness and in health, till death do us part.” Extra-marital affair, without a doubt, would be categorized under the “worse” part in the marital vow. Its damaging effects are due to the fact that it shakes the very foundations of the relationship: Trust and Commitment. The discovery of an affair in a marriage often leads to a crisis full of emotional struggles for all parties involved. Eventually, should a couple decide to continue their marriage, some of the questions that would surface are “Where do we go from here?”, “Will things ever get back to normal?”, etc.
Whether a marriage would survive an affair is dependent on the strength of the couple’s emotional bond, as well as the efforts both put in the recovery process. The tasks facing the couple are two: rebuilding the marriage and personal healing. Here are some tips on rebuilding a marriage after an affair:
Often we seem to be trapped in the repeated cycle of doing unhealthy pattern of behaviours, over and over again, despite the pain and suffering we go through. Sometimes we might even have the insights that these behaviours came from unresolved issues from our past and yet felt helpless in changing them. Here's a poem for us to reflect upon.
Many of us enter into marriage with this fog of love, passion, and dream. One day we wake up from this fog and start wondering where did our love go? This is often a crisis point for some individuals, and in turn their marriages, where doubts and despair start setting in. The fears that grip them are “Am I able to stay married if I don’t feel love?” and “Must I remain unhappy forever?”
Hollywood movies and romantic novels are culprits in contributing to this crisis, where all these love stories depict the hero/prince and the heroine/princess getting married and hence live “happily ever after”, communicating that just feeling “in-love” is enough to conquer all. What they fail to show is what happens afterward where reality, routine, chores, mundane day-to-day tasks, and other people’s (in-law, children) presence set in.
The arrival of a child or children marked a new stage in a couple’s journey. Embarking in Parenthood is definitely a huge transition – priorities shift, roles are redefined, and the balance between freedom and responsibility undergoes a massive overhaul. All these are necessary to ensure that the child(ren) received the best care possible. Some couples described this stage as shifting sands where each day present new challenges and they have to decide and redefine.
For some couples, after this initial stage of transition, romance starts working its way back into their lives and they start gravitating towards each other again. However, for others, they slowly wander off onto 2 separate paths of estrangement. This is why many couples identify “having children” as the point when their relationship starts to fall apart when they show up for couple therapy.
Why are some couples able to find their way back to each other while others can’t? Obviously a lot of that have to do with the pre-child(ren) relationship of the couple but let’s look at some of the challenges parenthood brings and what couples need to do to overcome that:
Ms Ho Shee Wai